Northern California Educational Leadership Consortium

NorCal Educators' Digest

Join the NorCal ELC Network and we’ll send you an email when each newsletter is available. Our newsletter is an information source for project activities, events, resources, school success stories, and hot topics for schools in the Shasta Region of 21CSLA.

NorCal Educator's Digest

September 2021

Graduate Profile Development at Chico Country Day School

Submitted by Sandra Azevedo

Six months ago, in February of 2021, Chico Country Day School (CCDS), a K-8 Charter in Chico, CA, embarked on the development of a Graduate Profile with the support of consultants from the Learner-Centered Collaborative. Graduate Profiles may be new to some educators. A Graduate Profile is a school or district specification of the cognitive, personal, and interpersonal competencies that students should have when they graduate (Kay, 2017).  As graduate profiles lead to clear goals for student learning they can transform education with a renewed sense of purpose for educators and equity for students.  

Communities have been willing to dedicate the time and resources necessary to develop Graduate Profiles because they believe that traditional accountability systems often too narrowly define student success. School and community leaders believe it’s important to capture and advance the values of local stakeholders in order to more broadly define the learning outcomes that should be the result of educating the “whole child”.  . . .  Creating a Graduate Profile is a critical first step that lays a foundation for achieving improved outcomes for students. It offers a renewed vision and definition of the college and career-ready student, serves as an impetus for shifting instructional practices and engaging students in deeper learning, and requires a shift in assessments that provide students authentic ways to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. (Scaling Student Success, 2020, p. 4) 

CCDS created a design team that presented a first draft of the Graduate Profile for staff input as the 2021-22 school year started. An essential question guiding that August session: How does the implementation of a Graduate profile impact teaching and learning?  Wendy Fairon, Director of Education shared that, “We want to be able to articulate and clarify what we have been doing for a really long time. That clarity and naming of it doesn't mean it is additional work, but it becomes this throughline and builds on how we work together and communicate as a team. We are also learners; so there is a connection between what we want for our students and ourselves.”  

CCDS staff examined and provided feedback on the five proposed student competencies to ensure they include student-friendly language and to expand on indicators of these competencies. One proposed competency was, “I am a confident and competent communicator.”  Others focused on student mindset, critical thinking skills,  personal and social responsibility.  CCDS intends to continue working through this process with a transparent and invitational approach, including any staff who want to join the design team. 

“Perhaps most important, when school boards and community groups endorse the Graduate Profile, they imply the intent to hold themselves collectively accountable for a broader set of student learning outcomes,” (Scaling Student Success, 2020, p. 4).  We, in NorCal ELC, look forward to following the progress of CCDS’s Graduate Profile and learning from the process and profile along with them. For more information about CCDS’s Graduate Profile, contact Wendy Fairon:

Graduate Profile Resources to Checkout

CASEL CARES webinar: The Graduate Profile-Imagine the Possibilities(opens in new window).  

Scaling Student Success(opens in new window). A California partnership that helps establish and maintain conditions to unify the field around equitable opportunities for CA youth.

To see an example of a Graduate Profile, check out this profile (PDF) from Pasadena Unified School District.


Kay, K., (2017, May 12).  The Graduate Profile: A Focus on Outcomes [Web log message.] (PDF)

Scaling Student Success, (2020, July).  Scaling Student Success: A California Partnership Concept Paper. (PDF)

Sharing Stories of Discrimination Leads to Change in Paradise Unified, CA

Recently a group of eight women of color, alumni of the Paradise Unified School District, wrote an open letter to the district describing their experiences with racism and discrimination at school. This is the story of how PUSD listened and took concrete steps to build a more inclusive and just school system.

Read the full article(opens in new window), provided by Rural Schools Collaborative.

California Educators Together

California Educators Together is an online community of practice designed to provide educators, administrators, specialists, and state program leads a common space to communicate, share strategies, and access resources. The platform is run by Butte County Office of Education and replaces Brokers of Expertise. California Educators Together combines the ability to find and collect resources, communicate, and collaborate with colleagues all at one site. Groups can be created, and there are public-facing, CDE approved groups, too. For example, the CA SEL Community of Practice is housed here with all of the curated resources and the new documents related to Transformative SEL.

Join today!(opens in new window)

FCC Accepting Applications for the $7.2B Emergency Connectivity Fund

The Federal Communications Commission will open a second application window for the Emergency Connectivity Fund from September 28 through October 13 for eligible schools.

More information and application(opens in new window).

NorCal ELC Webinar Series

We’re sponsoring a series of webinars that focus on increasing equity in education and social and emotional learning. The upcoming October webinars will be held live cast on Zoom.

Listen to Learn: Authentic | Student Voice as a Powerful Learning Tool

With Holli Hanson & Chris Hoyos - Abeo School Change                                                            Pat Erwin - Principal, Lincoln HS, Tacoma Public Schools 

  • Wednesday, October 20, 3:30-5 PM
In this session, participants will explore different ways in which student voices can be activated to enhance the learning experience for all. Participants will have access to several readings and tools as well as engage in conversation around several examples of how some schools have elicited student voice in authentic ways. The hope is that everyone will leave with a deeper understanding of student's voices and the next steps to apply ideas to their specific context.

NorCal Equity Community of Practice

With Lily Chang - Coordinator of Continuous Improvement, BCOE

  • Thursday, October 28, 3:30-5 PM (Session 1 of 4)

Achieving equity in education is necessary to improve the outcomes for students and staff, especially those who have been historically marginalized. It’s imperative that educators come together to prioritize equity as it relates to race and culture, address systemic racism, forms of oppression and exclusion, and identify unfair practices and policies that contribute to inequitable outcomes. Participants will deepen their learning and awareness, share resources and tools, collaborate and network in order to move to action. 

Register now for NorCal Equity Community of Practice.(opens in new window)

Teachers, Apply Today! | Grant Funds Available for Your Place-Based Projects

Rural Schools Collaborative announced the 2021-22 Celia B. Godsil Grants in Place Fellows Program. Eleven Fellows will be chosen to work with their students on innovative place-based projects. Each Fellow will receive a total award of up to $3,000. Applications are due Friday, October 15th.

Learn more about the available grant funds.

2021 National Forum to Advance Rural Education

The National Forum to Advance Rural Education will be held in-person or online in Indianapolis, IN on November 11-12, 2021. The Forum welcomes a diverse, rural education community that includes national experts, educators, researchers, policymakers, and philanthropic leaders. This year’s theme is Raising Rural: A Fair Chance at a Good Life.

Learn more and register.